Thank God Jacob Forgot His Snowpants by Mom’s New Stage
This hilarious tale is a dear friend’s experience of maternal misfortune, told to me expressly to provide writing fodder.
It had been a crap year. My job had been downsized and my husband had been unemployed for months. Add that to the stresses of being a parent – carpooling/shuttling kids around/a child with a gluten sensitivity/dealing with a four and a five year old who wanted to do everything except what I asked them to do — and I was ready to hurl myself into heavy traffic.
The last thing we felt like doing was getting all jollied up for Christmas.
But we were parents — parents with young kids — so taking a pass on the holidays was not an option. Somehow we’d have to dig down the bottom of our holey pockets and make some kind of magic for our younguns this season.
We needed something that was cheap, easy and a sure thing. The Christmas equivalent of a strumpet at an Old West saloon.
“How about the Santa train?” my husband suggested.
“Perfect!” I answered. Every year the city routed several subway trains around the city. For the cost of a regular ride families could ride on a subway train completely decked out in lights and other holiday colors while Santa and his elves passed out candy canes and posed for pictures.
We made arrangements to meet up at the Howard train station. Hubbles would pick up our daughter, Nina, early from all-day kindergarten, and I would bring our son, Miles, after his nap. It felt good to plan something fun. Just having something to look forward to lifted some the weight off my shoulders and gave me a reason to smile.
At 2:45 everyone had been collected. Our cars were parked in free spots on nearby sidestreets and we stood on the platform craning our necks to see the train churning down the tracks. For once, it seemed, the stars had aligned in our favor and everything had worked out perfectly. Fun seemed minutes away.
The weather wasn’t frigid, but it was cold enough that I wanted to make sure the kids were bundled up enough. The only thing between Nina’s legs and the frosty air was a pair of leggings. She wasn’t wearing her snow overalls.
“Nina, didn’t you wear your snowpants to school?” I asked, my brain starting to hum with questions. “And they let you go outside to play without them?
“I forgot them, but they still let me go play,” my five-year-old chirped back. “Jacob forgot his snowpants too, and…”
“JACOB!!!!!! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!” For a second I stopped breathing, like someone had kicked me in the stomach. Then I exploded into a teary, snotty, sobbing mess.
“What’s wrong, Mommy?” My kids began freaking out as kids do at the sight of a parent bawling like a child.
What was wrong was that we had just started carpooling with Jacob’s family not two weeks ago, and I forgot him at school! I FORGOT TO PICK UP ANOTHER PERSON’S CHILD! When Hubbles had mentioned picking up Nina early, Jacob didn’t even cross my mind. I was a complete monster and total ass. Deservedly so, that mother was going to rip me a new asshole and throw some hot pepper in it. What was I going to do?
It was 2:55. I had five minutes. I had to pick him up NOW.
I turned in circles like a dog. Would I make it? Could I meet the train somewhere when I was done? Where was my car? Could I join the witness protection program even though I had officially observed no crime? I sprinted away, leaving my glum and confused family waiting for the Santa train.
Breathless and in tears, I called the school to let them know I would be there shortly.
If I could have driven on the sidewalk I would have – I drove to school with more disregard for the law than an escaped felon.
Miraculously, I arrived at 3:07. Jacob was the only kid there, and he sat on the floor, doing a puzzle, perfectly unfazed. The boy then had the nerve to dilly-dally in perfect five-year-old style as he got his coat and mittens on. “Jacob, Let’s GO!” I said, finally having a target for my rage at being thwarted once again. I knew it wasn’t his fault we forgot him, but couldn’t he at least have honored my stress by hurrying the hell up?
And no, he didn’t have snowpants.
I dropped him off at home, his mother none the wiser.
It seemed like the universe wanted to stick it to me, but actually it totally had my back. Can you imagine what would have happened if Jacob had REMEMBERED his snowpants?
Let’s not even go there.
ABOUT KEESHA: Before her two children re-choreographed her life, Keesha was a professional dancer who performed in the U.S. and in Europe. Today she teaches modern and jazz dance in the Chicago area. She is also the human cyclone behind the blog Mom’s New Stage. A multitasker at heart, she shows fierce skills at simultaneously writing, choreographing, checking Facebook and Pinterest updates, playing the role of a mother named Joan “Kumbaya” Crawford, and overcooking food. Keesha is one of the select contributing authors of In The Powder Room’s first anthology, You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth. Her writing has been featured on Mamapedia, The Huffington Post, and in the bestselling anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone. A self-proclaimed pack-rat, Keesha is thrilled to be the new editor of BonBon Break’s The Attic, where she stores not only her memories, but also those of other über-talented writers.
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